Paris boasts hundreds of movie theaters showing films of every genre, epoch, and country. If you want, you can come here and keep up on the latest Hollywood product (sometimes even before its U.S. release). It would be a shame, though, for the sojourner to miss out on the wide assortment of French-language films. Yet if you don’t speak the language it’s difficult to appreciate a French film, given how verbal many of them are.
When I first came to France I watched French movies precisely to help learn the language, but often had no idea what exactly was going on– up on the screen. Unsurprisingly many Anglos are put off from even giving the French cinema a chance.
Two enterprising individuals– an Australian who lived in Paris for a year without daring to see a French film, and a Parisienne crazy about the cinema– have put together a service to bridge the gap between the Francophile-cinephile who’s not quite Francophone, and French films. They call it Lost in Frenchlation.
Matt Bryan and Manon Kerjean organize monthly screening of French films, with English subtitles. To increase the conviviality among their international public, a cocktail party (typically with a cinema theme) is held before the showing of the film. The fare is a mix of box office successes and classic movies. The pair plan on creating a start-up and attracting capital, and dream of opening their own movie house one day. For now they collaborate with interested theaters, often the art house Studio 28 in Montmartre. The service is run on a non-profit basis, their expenses covered with the pre-film receptions.
Matt and Manon promote the screenings via a web site and Facebook page. They are hitting the new year running with a screening on Friday, January 8. The program features Un Plus Une, directed by Claude Lelouch (A Man and a Woman), and starring Jeen Dujardin (The Artist). Un Plus Une tells the story of a film composer who travels to India to work on a Bollywood remake of Romeo and Juliet, after which numerous complications ensue. The cocktail party, naturally, will feature Indian specialties!